Central Group acquires Zličín brownfield

The former Siemens’ factory site is the largest in the developer’s history

Czech developer Central Group has acquired a brownfield site in Prague’s Zličín district and plans to use it to build a new neighborhood with up to 6,000 apartments and tram service.

The land was the former site of a Siemens factory. Central Group purchased the land from the firm PSN. It is the largest acquisition in Central Group’s history. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

The nearly 36-hectare lot will eventually become a residential area with shops and restaurants on the ground floor and other amenities. In the near future, however, the operation of the existing production halls will be maintained, as planning the new district and getting all the permits to start building will take several years.

The large area, which separates the original Zličín district from the commercial and residential zone near the B line metro station, connects the two parts of the neighborhood. The land is directly linked to the former Tatra Zličín complex, which is also owned by the Central Group. The company plans to start construction of about 500 apartments there this year.

“The Zličín area is a great challenge for us. This is the largest area that we will revitalize and that we would like to change in a lively residential area with everything that belongs in one, that is, a number of shops, restaurants, services and rich amenities,” Central Group executive director Michaela Tomášková said in a press release.

“We realize that the new inhabitants do not want to just sleep in the place, but they need all the services and civic amenities, so of course we are talking about how the new center at Zličín should look. We count on building several kindergartens, a square with space for a large school and a new office building. The center of the site should have a tram line,” she added.

Leading architecture firms are expected to participate in project studies for what to do with the site.

The land area is almost 36 hectares, or three times larger than the northern part of the Žižkov freight station, where the Central Group is preparing a project with a large park and roughly 2,100 to 2,600 dwellings.

This is the fourth transaction of this type between PSN and Central Group in a relatively short time. Central Group has received from PSN, in addition to the Zličín area, land for the construction of the Harfa Design Residence, an area is Krč in front of Thomayer Hospital (Thomayerova nemocnice) and an office building on Olšanská Street in Žižkov.

Central Group is the largest owner of land for housing construction in Prague. Its portfolio currently has over 1 million square meters of land in Prague designated for residential construction or being prepared for a change of land use so it can be used for residential purposes.

Central Group says the future for city development is in brownfield sites, or former industrious areas, as these offer large parcels of land within the city.

“It should be borne in mind that the cost of construction is higher on a brownfield site than on a green meadow. The investor has to factor in the costs of decontamination and demolition, which are often very high, in the case of the former Siemens plant, it will amount to hundreds of millions of crowns,” Tomášková said.

Brownfields are located in places with already existing public transport and are connected to other infrastructure. For the city, support for private construction on brownfields is the best solution to the current housing crisis, according to Central Group.

Central Group was established in 1994. As of 2017 it had created more than 155 residential sites and 14,000 new apartments.

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